Brian Burke and AHL Advanced Stats
What the hell is Brian up to?
There is a company called Time On Ice Software that sells programs designed to help teams acquire advanced stats for their hockey team. Depending on how you input the data and present it, you could essentially have the same stats that are available at behindthenet.ca or timeonice.com ... but for your beer league team.
If you click on the link you'll see a list of their users by logo. As of last year the four AHL teams that were customers:
Manitoba Moose (VAN)
Portland Pirates (ANA)
Rockford Icehogs (CHI ... formerly ANA via Cincinnati Mighty Ducks)
Toronto Marlies (TOR)
The thing that these teams all had in common; Brian Burke has been the GM of the NHL affiliate.
The Texas Stars and Hamilton Bulldogs seem to have started using this system this year as well. They are currently facing each other in the AHL Western Conference finals, so perhaps it has helped a bit.
Now there isn't anything particularly sophisticated about the programs, it wouldn't surprise me if some teams had developed their own software. The nice thing about staying with the same format is that you would be able to share with other teams and easily build an NHL.com style database. A database that would have a significant sample of underlying stats for most players in the AHL. And of course the cost of the software is trivial compared to the cost of inputting the data for every game. Presumably one doesn't go to that trouble and expense unless they are making use of the resulting data.
Brian Burke has never struck me as a particularly cerebral guy, this investment will tell him nothing of the truculence of AHL players, after all. The obvious thing that this data yields, as has been shown repeatedly on this blog and throughout the Oilogosphere; it tells you the context of a player's results and gives you a better idea of his true value, beyond the counting stats.
At the trade deadline the Leafs acquired Martin Skoula (who was flipped for a 5th round draft pick) and an AHL player named Luca Caputi in exchange for Alexei Ponikarovsky. It will be interesting to see how this player develops.
I don't know what the Leafs (or even the Habs, Ducks, Stars, Blackhawks, Canucks) are doing here. Perhaps I'm giving them too much credit. I do know that I would be very wary about any Oilers trade with the Leafs that involved AHL players, or involved any guys whose track record was principally in the AHL. We've seen that movie once, with Lupul and Smid, I don't want to see it again.